Fernando Ferrer
Andy Kropa  /  Redux Pictures file
Fernando Ferrer celebrates his win in the Democratic mayoral primary Sept. 13.
updated 9/19/2005 3:45:04 PM ET 2005-09-19T19:45:04

Democrat Fernando Ferrer has enough votes to officially win the mayoral primary and will face Republican incumbent Michael Bloomberg on Nov. 8, officials said Monday.

After a week of uncertainty, Ferrer edged just past the 40 percent mark as election workers finished counting thousands of absentee and other untallied votes cast in the Sept. 13 primary, Board of Elections officials said.

Officials had said a runoff would have been required by law with the second-place finisher, Rep. Anthony Weiner, if no one had reached 40 percent — even though Weiner had conceded defeat.

A “painstaking recanvass” found Ferrer, the former Bronx borough president, received 192,243 votes of the more than 478,000 votes cast, Board of Elections Executive Director John Ravitz said Monday. That put him about at 40.15 percent, or 720 votes over the 40 percent threshold.

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“There will not be a runoff between Fernando Ferrer and Anthony Weiner,” Ravitz said.

Earlier, cheers rang out at Ferrer campaign headquarters as staff members heard the reports. Ferrer spokeswoman Jen Bluestein said the candidate is “grateful for the support of New Yorkers who made him their definitive choice to return Democratic values to City Hall.”

Democrats had feared a runoff could nip the momentum, exposure and fund-raising Ferrer would get as the uncontested nominee. Two Democratic lawyers filed a lawsuit Friday to block the runoff, calling it a waste of taxpayers’ money after Weiner conceded but saying they acted independent of the party.

City with Democratic history
There are some 2.6 million registered Democrats in New York City. Bloomberg campaign spokesman Stu Loeser said Monday the numbers meant that “93 percent of registered Democrats in New York City did not vote for Freddy last week.”

Voters are “already proving very receptive to the record Mike Bloomberg’s leadership has produced,” Loeser said. Bloomberg, a Democrat until he changed parties when he entered politics, is enjoying wide popularity as he seeks his second term.

When unofficial returns were tallied after last Tuesday’s vote, Ferrer had been a fraction of a point away from the 40 percent threshold. But a new and more precise analysis by The Associated Press found Friday that he finished with 40.048 percent. That tally did not include the additional absentee ballots counted in recent days by the elections board.

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